During my college days I was as poor as Job’s Turkey. After High School graduation, I worked for a year for seventy-five cents an hour saving one thousand dollars. Only then could I think about continuing my education. With my money safely in the bank, I packed my trunk, boarded a Grey Hound bus, and took off for Waxahachie, Texas site of one of our Bible Colleges. That was back in the day when college tuition was not extravagantly expensive. Still, I knew I must work, for my savings would only go so far.
Working on campus meant that my income was automatically applied to my school bill. I never saw a nickel of it. I tell you, “I was poor!”
My Mom wrote faithfully each week. After reading her letters, I stuffed them in my top bureau drawer. Cleaning out that drawer one day, I found one of her letters that had never been opened. You can imagine my glee, when upon opening the envelope, I found a crisp five dollar bill tucked between the pages. I thought I had died and gone to Fort Knox.
You have to understand, in those days, for me, five dollars was a lot of money. I could walk to the end of Sycamore Avenue to Carl’s Café and buy a full meal including chicken fried steak, salad, vegetables, sweet potato pie and iced tea for sixty cents. I spent Mama’s five dollars sparingly making it last a long time. Talk about unexpected treasure!
Irish mythology tells us there is a leprechaun with a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. Problem is you’ve got to catch that wily little creature before you possess the gold.
Men have been fascinated with the thought of treasure, chasing that proverbial “pot of gold” since time immemorial risking life and limb resorting to thievery and mayhem.
Fort Knox, the US Bullion Depository, which houses 5,000 metric tons of gold worth one hundred billion dollars, maybe the only treasury in history that has not been successfully burgled. Of course, the twenty-ton door would be a little daunting.
Think of the Pirates, who plied the high seas during the 17th and 18th centuries wreaking havoc, sinking ships, taking lives, disrupting world trade, and making off with rich cargo.
From 1848 – 1852, 300,000 people, from the U.S. and around the world, rushed to California literally searching for the “Pot of Gold.” There was instant wealth to be had in the twinkling of an eye. A few did gain great riches, but many returned home having less than they started with.
Then there are those who take their risks in the stock market putting their faith in this or that commodity hoping the Dow Jones will not fail them.
These days salvage companies make a business of searching for sunken ships that were known to carry great riches.
A Spanish Galleon, The San Jose, was sunk, off the Columbian Caribbean coast, by the British Navy in 1708, with what may be the world’s largest sunken treasure—eleven million gold coins and jewels from Spanish controlled colonies. This treasure is valued at four to seventeen billion dollars.
An American salvage company claims to have found the sunken wreck in the 1980s, and the Columbian government makes the same claim. You can believe there is an all out war going on over who will gain the spoils. Though they may profess interest for archeological purposes, treasure hunting is primarily motivated by potential profit.
On a much smaller scale, thousands of people make their way everyday to Casinos, in places like Las Vegas or Atlantic City, hoping to strike it rich, and even more head for the nearest convenience store to buy Scratch Offs and Lottery tickets.
Sadly, on the almost non-existent chance of an instant fortune, many, if not most of these, can ill afford the money, money needed for essentials.
To me the word “treasure” is relative. It doesn’t always refer to monetary wealth. Two of my most treasured possessions are my Mother’s needlepoint tapestry of an English Garden, and the little glass dog my Daddy gave me when I was seven. Mama did the needlework, and the little dog probably didn’t cost more than fifteen cents. Still, to me, these items are priceless.
Whether you are raising sunken ships, chasing leprechauns, or waiting with bated breath for the lottery drawing, any way you look at it, treasure hunting is a risky business rarely producing the longed for results.
There does exist, however, a “no risk, high dividend” investment possibility for your future, in which everyone is invited to participate.
Consider the “no fail” offer made in Matthew 6:19-21. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for your selves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
How, in this world, do I lay up treasures in heaven?
I give Christ my heart—committing all that I am and all that I have to Him understanding that every prayer I pray, every dollar I give to His work, every moment I spend in service to Him, every act of obedience, and every word I speak as a witness to His grace are treasures deposited to my account in heaven.
Don’t kill yourself trying to accumulate the riches of this world. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it is safe from moth and rust and burglars. You may never be rich in worldly goods, but imagine the riches of heaven.
Remember, the sun will come out tomorrow!